Ventura County residents share their experiences with the COVID-19 vaccine


Image of the COVID-19 vaccination Courtesy of the European Pharmaceutical Review

By Andrea Lopez

The COVID-19 outbreak in the United States has passed its one-year anniversary. The previous year has been nothing short of a rollercoaster for not just the U.S., but the entire world.

After a year of struggling with the pandemic, the U.S. can finally see the long-awaited hope as the latest COVID-19 vaccines are now being administered.

For many people the vaccine could not be here soon enough, while others remain skeptical with questions of what to expect when it comes to experiencing side effects.

While the pandemic has brought the unknown to the world, it has heightened the fear of those who live with high-risk individuals while still working.

For Ventura County resident Rhonica Rubio-Barrios, anxiety has been present throughout the past year with the fear of bringing COVID-19 back home to a loved one.

“Getting the vaccine means staying safe. I work with the public everyday, so that’s created anxiety that I can bring (COVID-19) back to my household,” Rubio-Barrios explained.

A first dose was administered to Rubio-Barrios in January, followed by a second dose in February. The only side effects she experienced were a sore arm for the first dose and body aches, chills and fatigue with the second dose.

When compared to the first dose, the vaccine is said to cause more side effects after the second dose, which some patients have confirmed to have experienced.

“You’re revving up the new response by giving that booster dose,” explained Adriana Trujillo-Parsons, a registered nurse at the Ventura College Health Center.

Trujillo-Parsons shared the importance of being administered the vaccine.

“To be able to move forward as the world, not just a country, but as a world,” stated Trujillo-Parsons.

Trujillo-Parsons, who has been administered a first dose of the Moderna vaccine, “was well cared for and safe,” during the experience Trujillo-Parsons explained.

“This is an emerging infectious disease and (the world) is going through it together,” Trujillo-Parsons said.

As school districts have begun returning to in-person learning, middle school teacher Katie Phillippe has shared the comfort of approaching a student’s desk after receiving the vaccine.

Being a teacher back to in-person learning, Phillippe explained that “it’s nice knowing I’m vaccinated.”

The vaccine ensures the safety of Phillippe’s students and family at home.

The middle school teacher spends a lot of time surrounding a loving grandmother and the vaccine “means a lot to her (grandmother), which then means a lot [to herself],” according to Phillippe.

As of March 15, the COVID-19 vaccine has now been administered to 267,433 individuals. That is 186,087 first doses and 81,346 second doses, according to Ventura County Recovers.

Ventura County has now moved into the next tier of doses made available to essential workers, agriculture works, teachers in education and emergency room personnel.

“We don’t have all the answers but hopefully as a global community, because we are doing this and working on this together, we will be able to move forward,” expressed Trujillo-Parsons.

To make an appointment to be administered for the COVID-19 vaccine click here